Guest Post by Vanessa Barajas – Paleo Caramel Macchiato Muffins

June 4, 2014 in Categories: by

Print Friendly

VBVanessa started Paleo during a 30 day challenge at her gym and never looked back. She is a San Diego Native who loves food with an insane passion. She has been known to drink almond milk straight from the carton and expensive wine out of plastic red cups. Her favorite meal is, has, and always will be dessert. She started a food blog when she didn’t even know how to cook and wrote about her culinary adventures in Paleo cooking. “Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my blog, so read it maybe?” Connect with Vanessa on her blog Clean Eating With a Dirty Mind, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

I created this recipe because, confession time, I really really really miss Caramel Macchiatos…and Caramel Frappuchinos mmmmkay, but that’s another story for another time.  The Caramel Macchiato used to be my signature Starbucks drink pre-paleo. Grande Iced Upside-Down Caramel Macchiato with extra extra Caramel. That took like a month for me to memorize. Starbucks employees tend to get testy if you say your drink size or iced in the wrong order. Now I have a Pavlovian response every time I walk into Starbucks. I miss how the caramel would all sink to the bottom of the cup and I’d get a big strawful all at once. And honestly, I miss having a drink with like 82 syllables. It made me feel special. You know what didn’t make me feel special? All the sugar and crappy ingredients! Maybe I still get jealous when I hear someone order one in line in front of me and maybe I give them dirty looks and silently judge (just kidding, not really.) I’ll never tell, but I do know that I feel a lot better not drinking them. Duh. So ode to you my long lost friend, my glorious Caramel Macchiato, here is my healthier tribute to you that doesn’t make me feel crappy and it’s delicious! Maybe I should eat one of these in line next time I go to Starbucks. Now what Caramel Macchiato orderers?!

I hope you enjoy these muffins!

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Makes 12 muffins


Ingredients (Caramel Macchiato Muffins)

Directions (Caramel Macchiato Muffins)

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. In a large bowl combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt, use a fork to stir together. Set aside.
  2. Warm coconut milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  3. While the coconut milk and butter are warming, in a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs and coconut palm sugar. Then sift and fold in the dry mixture until combined.
  4. Bring the coconut milk and butter mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Fold this mixture into the batter. Pour batter into a piping bag or a Ziploc freezer bag, then cut a small hole in the corner. Squeeze batter into the cupcake liners. Fill a tiny bit more than halfway up the liner. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. While the cupcakes are baking go ahead and prepare your Caramel Macchiato Frosting. Let muffins cool completely before frosting.


Ingredients (Caramel Macchiato Frosting)

Directions (Caramel Macchiato Frosting)

  1. Melt butter and coconut milk in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Once melted add the coconut sugar, vanilla extract, coffee extract, and salt. Stir until combined.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil for 3 minutes, remove and stir until the mixture becomes a smooth liquid again. Repeat this process 3 times. Each time the mixture should get a little thicker and a little thicker. Remove from heat and let cool. As the mixture cools it will thicken.
  4. While the mixture is cooling go ahead and prepare the coconut butter portion of the frosting by melting 4 tablespoons of coconut butter.
  5. Spoon melted coconut butter on top of each muffin and then drizzle the caramel on top using a piping bag or Ziploc bag with a cut corner.



What are some good alternatives to the coconut palm sugar? Has the recipe been tried with xylitol? I don’t use any sugars; xylitol or stevia are my sweeteners but most recipes require the same bulk that sugars provide, so I’m thinking xylitol might be an alternative sweetener.

Be careful when you sub liquid sweeteners for solid ones – it is not a 1 to 1 ratio. I would try 1/2 cup maple syrup and see how the consistency of the batter changes….

Could you use another type of extract instead of coffee? I know the flavor would change but can you use something different?

Your recipe looks super yummy, but the sugar is way over the top. For me, I’m afraid. My metabolism just can’t go there anymore.

Woohoo! CEWADM getting together with the Paleo Mom – it’s like two of my ultimate dinner party guests on one blog at the same time! Have to admit, it’s the teeniest bit difficult to resist V’s sweet goodies on BOTH blogs while slogging it out on the AIP, but I shall persevere….!

I am considering buying your book and giving this a try. I have thyroid issues. Take daily medication 90mg of armour. I eat healthy 80% of the time, go to the gym 3-4 times a week. I have around 25 lbs I would love to lose but I can’t seem to get it to go away. Would this change in my life style help me?

I’m curious, could I use actual coffee instead of the extract (cant find it here, I live in Alaska and try not to raise my grocery costs by ordering special items I rarely use) and if so, how much do you think? Thanks in advance, these look fantastic!

I haven’t tried it, so can’t say. You will have to experiment with the wet ingredients if you are replacing coconut flour with some other type of flour. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

These are so good. i made them today. Thank you for sharing this recipe. For any other people trying this. Coconut butter is not refrigerated, so you can order it. I also had to order my pure coffee extract, AWESOME!!!!

It is easy to make your own coffee extract: use a 1 to 1 ratio of coffee to water, (1 cup grounds to one cup water) put in a mason jar or something with a lid. Stir and let sit for 12 to 24 hours, stirring every 4 hours or so to allow the coffee to infuse the water. After sitting for the amount of time (strength) you want, strain and freeze in an ice cube tray. Use as needed.
This has to be frozen because it is made with water. You can make this with alcohol and it won’t need freezing but the ratio will be a little different. I used this to make mocha ice cream, delicious!

Hi, can’t use almond flour…what if I did a 50/50 ratio of coconut flour and tapioca flour – say 1/2 cup each? (Because coconut flour will soak up more moisture?) or can you give a better amount? 50/50 has worked great in other muffin recipes…just not sure what right amt would be! Many thanks…really want to try these…

I have found that the best substitution for Almond flour is definitely Sunflower flour. Just buy raw sunflower seeds and put them in the food processor until super fine. You can sub this equally for all almond flour recipes.

I’m surprised that Sarah promotes coconut flour and other items coconut-related like the manna. (I am not speaking about coconut oil just to be clear). I say this because coconut flour and the fleshy part of coconut can be highly allergenic. Coconut flour is also an extremely difficult flour to digest. The same goes for blanched almond flour (especially considering the fact that there are no blanched flours on the market, at least none that I know of, that have been soaked and dehydrated before the blanching process. All that phytic acid is just a recipe for disaster in the gut. And then adding eggs to the mix? Yikes! These are some really poor food combinations, especially with people who have weak digestion (which is pretty much everyone with an auto immune disease). Everything I have read in Dr. K’s thyroid book states clearly that most people who have an auto immune disease, have Leaky Gut syndrome. I tried searching for this in your search engine on this site and nothing came up. Why is that? I have Leaky Gut and I absolutely cannot mix animal protein with other sources of protein (i.e. nuts, seeds,etc.).

I can’t be the only one out there that has these digestive challenges. Thanks.

Sarah has written extensively on the link between autoimmune disease and leaky gut, and recommends coconut flesh products only in moderation to autoimmune patients (this recipe is not autoimmune-friendly) or not at all for patients sensitive to it. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

I guess for the same reason you wouldn’t go onto the Martha Stewart site looking for recipes, you’d have to use a filter here too. There is no black and white…some people are simply “grain free” paleo for the science of it, others of us have various degrees of autoimmune issues going on. You need to find a GAPS site and get recipes there maybe?

Well it just seems that a lot of dessert recipes and even main dishes (like casserole-style) incorporate coconut flour or coconut milk and if you aren’t allowed to have dairy nor nuts or seeds, then you can’t make that recipe. I’m finding that it is more frustrating with all these different sites that each have their own take on treating gut disorders (Body Ecology, GAPS, SCD, Paleo, etc.) . So once again, is this a case of “one size does not fit all”? I don’t do well with GAPS because it is way too high in fat for me and my body cannot digest all of those rich foods. I also must be on a rotational diet and have been for over 6 months now. Is this addressed in her book because I don’t see it on her website (unless I overlooked this). I guess my point is that I thought this diet would be more workable for me since having Hashimotos and I figured since Sarah has scientifically researched this for so long, that it would be a right fit for me. I’m still uncertain of this. I realize everyone’s chemical make up is different (I studied Holistic Nutrition at Bauman College therefore I do have an understanding previously), but I guess it can’t be said that this cookbook would be a “one size fits all” for Hashimotos?? I did pre-order her book on Amazon, but I hope that I can utilize at least 75% of the recipes.

Thanks for your input.

Have you had a chance to read this posting yet Christina? I asked a couple of questions in it. My first question was, does Sarah discuss rotational diet with severe Leaky Gut on her blog or in her book?
My second question is, is this book not totally applicable to all people with Hashimotos? It makes more sense when you read what I typed above.

Hope to hear form you soon,
Nicky Moore

There is no one size fits all diet for autoimmune patients, but the guidelines Sarah discusses in her book are an excellent place to start. You may find that you need to make additional restrictions to troubleshoot further problems and you may find that you tolerate some of the eliminated foods very well. Sarah does not particularly recommend GAPS or rotation diets due to not enough evidence to support their efficacy. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Hi Christina,
Thanks for the information. I actually was reading a posting by Sarah about SIBO. She actually mentions that one may need to follow the GAPS or SCD guidelines and incorporate that in to this diet. So I guess I’m kind of confused by your last sentence. And why does she think that there is not enough evidence to support GAPS? It has helped many people, especially children with autism. I’ve only ever read good things about it from people’s true life accounts.

My hero.. I too love anything from Starbucks that has caramel in it… I just need to figure out a substitute for the eggs-I’m allergic to eggs.. I guess I could use applesauce.. I also have Ulcerative Colitis, so I’m checking out all these different diets.. Paleo, GAPS, SCD, etc,,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *